Sunday, March 23, 2014

Oswald Chambers (1874-1917), Theologian

Am I Carnally Minded?

Oswald Chambers: My Utmost for His Highest - 3/23/2013 

Where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal . . . ?1 Corinthians 3:3

The natural man, or unbeliever, knows nothing about carnality. The desires of the flesh warring against the Spirit, and the Spirit warring against the flesh, which began at rebirth, are what produce carnality and the awareness of it. But Paul said, “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16). In other words, carnality will disappear.

Are you quarrelsome and easily upset over small things? Do you think that no one who is a Christian is ever like that? Paul said they are, and he connected these attitudes with carnality. Is there a truth in the Bible that instantly awakens a spirit of malice or resentment in you? If so, that is proof that you are still carnal. If the process of sanctification is continuing in your life, there will be no trace of that kind of spirit remaining.

If the Spirit of God detects anything in you that is wrong, He doesn’t ask you to make it right; He only asks you to accept the light of truth, and then He will make it right. A child of the light will confess sin instantly and stand completely open before God. But a child of the darkness will say, “Oh, I can explain that.” When the light shines and the Spirit brings conviction of sin, be a child of the light. Confess your wrongdoing, and God will deal with it. If, however, you try to vindicate yourself, you prove yourself to be a child of the darkness.

What is the proof that carnality has gone? Never deceive yourself; when carnality is gone you will know it-it is the most real thing you can imagine. And God will see to it that you have a number of opportunities to prove to yourself the miracle of His grace. The proof is in a very practical test. You will find yourself saying, “If this had happened before, I would have had the spirit of resentment!” And you will never cease to be the most amazed person on earth at what God has done for you on the inside.

1. Pertaining to flesh; fleshly; sensual; opposed to spiritual; as carnal pleasure.

2. Being in the natural state; unregenerate.

"The carnal mind is enmity against God." Rom. 8.

3. Pertaining to the ceremonial law; as carnal ordinances. Heb. 9:10.

4. Lecherous; lustful; libidinous; given to sensual indulgence.



1. What do these words suggest to you? 

2. Are they meant to be a condemnation of sex and sexual desire? 

3. Do they irritate you, and put you immediately in a defensive mode? 

4. Do they provoke curiosity? 

5. What is meant by the term "Self-Justification?" 

6. Is it a good thing or a bad thing, or possibly a bit of both? 

7. Is advice of this sort meant to apply to the way we think of others, or only the way we regard ourselves as individuals?

 8. Do you think "religion" may be going out of style, and is, therefore, no longer relevant in modern life? 

9. If your answer is yes, please explain why this may be so? 

10. What does the term "Salvation" mean to you?


  1. Upon reading these words by Oswald Chambers, I thought to myself, "More people should read The Screwtape Letters.

    Right now, I have time to address only one of the questions:

    8. Do you think "religion" may be going out of style, and is, therefore, no longer relevant in modern life?

    Out of style, perhaps, but not irrelevant in our personal lives.

    I find that most churches have moved away from feeding the soul -- and my statement applies to the "church" music now in vogue too. What does the church stand for today?

  2. 1) Religous doctrine
    2 ) No
    3) No
    4) No
    5) If one is right they need not attempt justification.
    6) It is human to self justify, if justification results in self introspection it is good.
    7) How we regard ourselves. Yet more are quick to judge others rather than looking within.
    8) For me, religion, a man made, man guided construct has never been in style.
    9) Living an ethical, truthful, respectful, productive, and active life does not require religion.
    10) Being "saved" by living a life of decency, respecting all life, desiring to destroy no life, accepting who you are and honestly knowing you can be proud of who you are.

    Spirituality, true spirituality has nothing to do with a religion of any kind. Religion is a man made construct to control others through guilt and self loathing. Spirituality, true spirituality is a rare thing.

  3. There are "downsides" to spirituality as well. Especially when it wanders into the "frivolous" and often "ridiculous".


  4. There are "downsides" to spirituality as well. Especially when it wanders into the "frivolous" and often "ridiculous".

    Ah, but then it is no longer spiritual, Thersites. Spirituality implies exaltation.

    RN makes a good point about "religion." but atheists so often make the mistake of confusing the existence of God with "religion."

    The two are not always compatible. "Religion," may provide worthwhile spiritual guidance, but often it does anything but -- especially these days with the rise of The Social(ist) Gospel.

    The Episcopal Church today, Alas! is as RED as Lenin's armies.

    Mt. Chambers, whom I respect a great deal, doesn't address "religion," per se, he encourages us to examine and further develop our inner selves. This, of course, includes our sense of Conscince, but it's much more than that.

    Anyone who things that being "Christian" is matter of following rules and avoiding "sinful behavior," doesn't know his anus from a hole in the ground.

    Unfortunately, this includes the vast majority.

  5. By the way,

    We would have no awareness of such things as Conscience, Honesty, Integrity, Morality, Decency, Loyalty, Compassion, Foresight, Creativity, Fairness, or even Mirth without Gods Presence, even if it remains unacknowledged.

    God simply IS. It makes no difference to "Him" whether you believe in "Him" or not.

    The Holy Ghost may
    Be as great as they say,
    And he sure would be missed,
    If He didn't exist.

    EVERY positive achievement started with Faith, Hope and Courage.

    So, of course, did many dreadful deeds, but those are inspired and governed by the devil. God only impels us towards the Good.

    Problems in communication on this important subject arise from a lack of understanding what these familiar terms -- God and Satan -- really mean. Probably not what you think.

    Words are painfully limited tools in the struggle to gain understanding.

  6. Exaltation? Careful you don't start "mixing" metaphors. Especially those of the "fleshly/ pleasurable" varieties. For many praise/ exalt "pleasure" over "mind" (Plato, "Philebus") ;)

  7. Sex at its best certainly has a spiritual dimension.

    It sure can take you right "out of this world." ;-)

  8. A few definitions of EXALTATION

    A feeling or state of extreme happiness

    The action of elevating someone in rank, power, or character

    The action of praising someone or something highly

    A state or feeling of intense, often excessive exhilaration or well-being.



    The act of raising someone or something in importance

    The act of elevating; also, a state of elevation.

  9. I know Herrick very well.

    There are, of course, many different ways to interpret his use of the term "rosebuds."

  10. reason for moving the argument to a "purely" spiritual (formal) domain like that of law and love. ;)

    SOCRATES: Are not we the cup-bearers? and here are two fountains which are flowing at our side: one, which is pleasure, may be likened to a fountain of honey; the other, wisdom, a sober draught in which no wine mingles, is of water unpleasant but healthful; out of these we must seek to make the fairest of all possible mixtures.

    PROTARCHUS: Certainly.

    - Plato, "Philebus"

  11. Not all ingredients in the fountain of "spiritual wisdom" are always truthful... and this renders them sometimes "frivolous" and/or "ridiculous".

  12. As Paul said to the Romans:

    "Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your ears.


    Romans 8, to be more precise.

    Now rejoice, and let your Spirit cry Abba!

  13. Lizzie Strata said

    What a beautiful man he was! I hope he was carnally minded enough to have enjoyed the considerable advantages he must have had with women.



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